|Lawler does not quite believe in the concerned colonial rescuers theory.|
Lawler begins with a brief historical overview of the time period and the events leading up to the colony of Roanoke being established and it's subsequent abandonment by founder, John White. Lawler then delves into the history of the search for answers. He traces theories and their developments and failures. He visits sites along the East Coast and interviews people who have devoted their lives, time, and money to 'finding' the lost colonists. He does not dismiss any claim outright nor does he subscribe to any wholeheartedly. The book fleshes out the mysticism behind the lost colony and the human reaction to a story where the characters just disappear off the face of the map. This is not a story about the lost colony or the colonists. Lawler writes a story about how sailing for the New World was Elizabethan precursor to the American Dream. This, coupled with a group of people chasing it met uncertain ends, has shaped the American notion of survival and determination. He writes about how missing baby girl, Virginia Dare, is now the poster child for lost innocence. He writes about the local Native Americans' part in the story has evolved over time from being the savage murderers of the colonists to the benign benefactors who might have taken them in. It is a story about our original national legend coloring our history as Americans and how we as a nation relegate stories of survival into lore, hoping for a story of triumph.
|Author, Andrew Lawler|
This is a well researched, well written book. Lawler took a topic that can explained in two or three paragraphs and turned it into a comprehensive, interesting narrative. He admits getting swept into the Roanoke mania and takes the reader along for the ride. "The Secret Token: Myth, Obsession, and the Search for the Lost Colony of Roanoke" is will not give you new insight into the disappearance of the lost colonists. Instead, it will give you insight into people's willingness to believe in lore and legend and how one legend in particular has defined the makeup of a national American identity.